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Internet Radio's 'Second Chance' Bogging Down in House

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the fish-in-a-barrel dept.

The Internet 105

An anonymous reader writes "Wired is reporting that the Internet Radio Equality Act is failing fast in the House, with negotiations breaking down over fair pricing for internet radio broadcasters. 'A legislative setback could make it harder to dislodge the new fees, which took effect last month after a federal appeals court refused to postpone the payment deadline. With the threat of congressional backlash fading, SoundExchange could find little incentive to budge from its current position ... SoundExchange has already proposed changes that could relieve small and custom-streaming sites from charges they could not possibly afford to pay, at least in the short term. Many expect a small-webcaster deal to be done by early September, when Congress goes back into session. But the deal on the table hasn't changed since SoundExchange extended an offer in May to charge them 10 percent of gross revenue under $250,000, or 12 percent of gross revenues over $250,000, with a revenue cap at $1.25 million.'" All very cushy for SoundExchange. Wired also points out that this is the same organization illegally lobbying for terrestrial radio royalties through 'third party' shell groups.

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105 comments

MYG0T OWNS YOU (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20128571)

LOL MYG0T

MYG0T Samster!?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20128887)

Kill some HW guys with youz hacks. Ah, the good old days of speedhack and weapon glitch.

Oh REALLY? (5, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128579)

Wired also points out that this is the same organization illegally lobbying for terrestrial radio royalties through 'third party' shell groups.

Huh. Congress making deals with a known criminal organization. Who would have even thought that was possible?

Re:Oh REALLY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20128901)

Huh. Congress making deals with a known criminal organization. Who would have even thought that was possible?

You must be forgetting their history of dealing with the Bush MafiaH^H^H^H^H^H^ Administration.

what a choice (3, Insightful)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129173)

Seems like our options are the Oil Industry Party or the Media Industry Party. Great.

Re:what a choice (3, Funny)

ragefan (267937) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129677)

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos -- Homer Simpson

Re:Oh REALLY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20129509)

ORLY? [photobucket.com]

One's "illegal lobbying" (1)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130249)

... is another's excercise of their First Ammendment right. And not only "in spirit" (such as the right to sell porn), but also in letter: "petition the government for redress of grievances".

Huh. Congress making deals with a known criminal organization. Who would have even thought that was possible?

Doing something illegal (like jaywalking) does not make one a criminal...

Re:One's "illegal lobbying" (1)

dmsuperman (1033704) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131753)

See that's exactly what it makes them, criminal is one who does crime, doing crime is doing something illegal.

Unless you were just joking, in which case I don't get the humor, if it exists.

Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20133683)

While it's very possible that your jurisdiction has very screwed up laws, I should think that jaywalking would be a civil offense, not a criminal one. In other words, no, it would NOT make you a "criminal."

That said, there are plenty of minor laws that are or can be criminal. For example, in some states, going fast enough will allow the cop to charge you with criminal speeding. They can then arrest you, impound your car, and take you to the station for booking. In general, they probably give most people a break and don't do that, though, but it's not a good idea to test that. In my state, criminal speed is 20+ over, over 45 in an unmarked place, or 85+ anywhere (we have highways at 75, so that's not always 20+ over).

Re:One's "illegal lobbying" (1)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20134285)

See that's exactly what it makes them, criminal is one who does crime, doing crime is doing something illegal.

Let me spell it out for you in detail... The write-up alleged, that the organization — SoundExchange — is illegally lobbying. From this the GGP [slashdot.org] — to a rather enthusiastic modding up — has concluded, that SoundExchange is a criminal organization.

My comment explained, that many (most?) of the things illegal are not, in fact criminal. You see, criminal is the subset of illegal, not the other way around.

Re:One's "illegal lobbying" (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20135205)

Well, actually that enthusiastic modding-up was mostly +n Funny, which indicates that the mods have more of a sense of humor than the rest of you over-analytical types. More to the point, however, Congress is making deals with a known corrupt organization (there, is that better?) ... but then again Congress itself has, since Colonial times, also been a known corrupt organization. Had it not been for the malfeasance of various members of Congress over the past century, copyright and patent law wouldn't be in their current state of disarray, and SoundExchange, in its current form, would never have been suffered to exist.

Re:One's "illegal lobbying" (2, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20135625)

Congress is making deals with a known corrupt organization (there, is that better?)

Well, Slashdot is full of praise for organizations, that are similarly corrupt — such as Pirate Bay, for example. The difference? Pirate Bay are (alleged to be) breaking laws, that Slashdotters feel, should not exist.

I think, my first post on the subject made a good argument, why there should be no such thing as "illegal lobbying" — because the right "to petition the government for redress of grievances" is directly derived not only from "the spirit", but also from the letter of the very First Ammendment...

So, if the Ammendment can be construed to enshrine the right to, for example, sell pornography or to speak anonymously (both rather indirect derivations from the spirit of the Ammendment), any laws banning lobbying are flat-out un-Constitutional.

Re:One's "illegal lobbying" (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20136117)

Actually, no ... The Pirate Bay is breaking no laws it its country of origin, so that's really a bad example. Granted, they've moved their servers elsewhere and replicated them because they don't trust their lawmakers to have a backbone. Still, the fact that The Pirate Bay torques off the self-appointed copyright cops in the USA or anywhere else is irrelevant to any discussion on copyright. Furthermore, I've yet to read a single Slashdot comment seriously advocating the abolition of copyright, but what we do want to see is some balance returned to the system. Your lobbyist friends have caused some serious harm to United States copyright law by their illicit activities. Given the quantity of bad law resulting from their efforts (hell, it was shown that MPAA lawyers drafted the DMCA!) you can't excuse what they've been doing as being either within the spirit or the letter of the Constitution. It's abusive, amoral and wrong.

Furthermore, there are a lot of ways to look at lobbying. Petitioning for redress of grievances was never intended to apply to corporate entities, since at the time the Constitution was written corporations didn't have the rights of individuals. At least, that's my understanding, presumably someone with a legal background will correct me. Regardless, you can make your case that no lobbying should be considered "illegal", but the reality is that something has to be done because lobbying (illegal or otherwise) has resulted in serious imbalance between the rights of individuals vs. the rights of corporations in this country. Do you really believe that your Congressman will listen to your personal feelings on any issue? Of course not: the best they'll do is get a feeling for what their constituents want, and if that doesn't conflict with what their corporate sponsors want, you might get a good law.

My belief is that lobbying should be illegal, period. You want to write your Congressman and convince him of the merits of your position? Great, go for it. You want to wine him, and dine him, and give him free hookers and expensive vacations? Want to write him checks? Sorry ... that crosses the line between "redress of grievances" to "undue influence" and "corruption" and that is illegal.

Re:One's "illegal lobbying" (0, Flamebait)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20140245)

The Pirate Bay is breaking no laws it its country of origin, so that's really a bad example.

So? They did break break America's laws, which is something Americans usually find reprehensible. And its not like all of your "pirating" friends are from abroad either :-)

Furthermore, I've yet to read a single Slashdot comment seriously advocating the abolition of copyright

Well, after the initial shock of somebody rejecting the obvious, I went searching. These [slashdot.org] two [slashdot.org] are what I found in 5 minutes of using Slashdot's (rather broken) search. These are only the flat-out "abolish copyright" kinds. There are plenty more posters, who — like you — don't reject copyright completely, but (inconsistently) scoff at any attempts by copyright owners to enforce their rights: "You have your rights, you just don't have the right to use them".

Petitioning for redress of grievances was never intended to apply to corporate entities

That — personal vs. corporate — is a really common and a really stupid distinction. I — along with millions of small-business owners — own a corporation, which you want to keep from petitioning the government. But you don't mind Warren Buffet or Larry Ellison or Bill Gates petitioning politicians in person...

My belief is that lobbying should be illegal, period. You want to write your Congressman and convince him of the merits of your position?

So, where is the line between legitimately communicating your concerns to your lawmaker and "lobbying"? Oh, well, must be another case of the "I know it, when I see it", used so "successfully" to distinguish art from pornography. Hear, hear...

Re:One's "illegal lobbying" (2, Informative)

_Ludwig (86077) | more than 6 years ago | (#20146567)

RTFA. Soundexchange is a nonprofit authorized by 17 USC 114 (g) (3) to collect royalties on behalf of sound recording copyright owners, on an opt-out basis. With that privilege come certain restrictions on how it may spend the royalties it collects. Hiring lobbying firms and PR flacks is not on the list of approved expenditures. This is no more a First Amendment violation than a Department of Defense contractor NDA is.

Re:One's "illegal lobbying" (1)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20147681)

Thanks for the details.

However, can't you see, how dangerously slippery this slope is?

With that privilege come certain restrictions on how it may spend the royalties it collects. Hiring lobbying firms and PR flacks is not on the list of approved expenditures.

How about an IRS rule, that you are supposed to pay 10% higher tax, unless you are willing to accept certain limitations. Such as your right to petition the government...

If this sounds far-fetched, it is not — there was no need to be registered "non-profit" less than a century ago. But now organizations face a choice between having to pay (high) taxes or accepting (severe) limitations on rights... Tested on corporations (evil, aren't they all?), it may come to citizens in some shape or form...

In a weird way, I hope that this fails (5, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128587)

Look, this issue is not going to go away unless either all musicans promise to go only through RIAA approved labels or the internet is killed. This is the time to take them on. Basically, musicians need to recognize that they have the opportunity to break free of the bonds that hold them. How? By getting paid directly by forming their own set of none-riaa labels. This monster price will force the network companies to no longer broadcast groups that support RIAA. That will of course cut the netplay to those groups/labels. Once they realize that this is hurting themselves, they will push for much lower prices. Hopefully, the network broadcasters AND their listeners will chose to let RIAA supported labels die.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (3, Interesting)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128659)

Another advantage, if it fails, is that Americans, or at least those who will listen to Internet radio, will be be exposed to more international influences (since the vast majority of Internet radio stations will be run in other countries). Assuming, of course, that there won't be some legislation requiring filtering Internet radio from abroad.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (-1, Flamebait)

b0z0n3 (1086487) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128709)

Americans, or at least those who will listen to Internet radio, will be be exposed to more international influences

And it's about time - I can't tell you how many Americans told me "I live in the greatest country in the world, why would I want to go anywhere else?" - even though they'd never left their own country. They believed it because that's what they've been told since they were babies.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (-1, Flamebait)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128869)

I believe it because I live less than 3 hours from Boston and New York City. I can get anything I want ordered and delivered to me the next day. I can eat any kind of food I like, while watching violent movies and playing violent video games. Some other countries might approach our level of freedoms, but they still lock down some things.

So, if it's not the "GREATEST" it's still "PRETTY DAMN GOOD"

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (4, Informative)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129405)

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not, but this is going to assume not, and if I'm wrong, I apologize in advance.

In New York City you can't eat any food with trans fatty acids, and in Chicago (which is probably more than 3 hours, but throwing it out here as an example), it gets tricky trying to get fois gras. And violent video games? Well, you can't play Manhunt 2...it was supposed to be released last month.

And even if those aren't things you care about, well, it's only a matter of time before they attack something you do.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20129769)

In New York City you can't eat any food with trans fatty acids
You know that's really only banning cheap, unhealthy substitutes, right?

and in Chicago (which is probably more than 3 hours, but throwing it out here as an example), it gets tricky trying to get fois gras
Da Mayor doesn't really control the suburbs that much.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20131191)

You know that's really only banning cheap, unhealthy substitutes, right?

The chest pains are a sign of quality! Honest!

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20131209)

it's only a matter of time before they attack something you do

But, since this is "government by the people, for the people", you are in fact attacking yourself. You know, like employing coercion against yourself, sort of like an internal conflict.

Wait a second...

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#20133557)

Great, all I can think of now is someone in politics using my fist to hit my own face and going "Quit hittin yourself! Quit hittin yourself!"

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 6 years ago | (#20134267)

If they attack things you like, vote them out or run to replace them.

And yet (3, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129029)

just about everybody says that. The funny thing is that America is bigger than EU, and most Americans have traveled through the states. Yet in EU, most citizens have NOT traveled beyond their own border (which equal to a small or medium size state here.), and a number have never left their own city. The same is true of just about every other country in the world. Overall, you will find that ppl do not travel because they do not have to, and/or do not have a desire to. The saddest part is when I hear ppl think that all the states are the same just because we speak the same language (which we do not). Nearly all westerners look at the east coast as being just as foreign as any country in EU. In fact, I have an easier time understanding a limey then I do somebody from the bronx, most places of new jersey, and even boston (pak it he == park it here). And the difference between Colorado and California is similar. Now, go to countries where they have not cultural issues, but are on different languages(which is the majority of the large countries; EU, India, China). How much do you learn about each other? Very little unless you make an effort to do so.

Re:And yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20129259)

You know, that entire rant does NOTHING to address the point of the post it was in reply to. My hat off to you!

Re:And yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20129585)

You know, they look to be a very similar size to me (the EU is growing as more countries join it). Have you been over to Europe? Going from one country to another you tend to notice *much* bigger cultural changes than you do crossing state borders, or even from one side of America to the other.

I've found that most Europeans travel around more as well. I guess it's because the other countries are more accessible and you can just drive there.

As for learning about each other, from what I can gather it's kind of difficult to ignore the other countries. Just try reading any newspapers over there without coming across multiple stories about other European countries.

"In fact, I have an easier time understanding a limey then I do somebody from the bronx"

What kind of "limey"? I can understand the people from southern england just fine but I have a hell of a time with the scots or even someone from northern england. The "limeys" have plenty of incomprehensible regional dialects for you to misunderstand.

Re:And yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20129759)

Indeed, as far as I have seen American accents are pretty state central, as in a certain accent to sticks to a state and only varies slightly throughout (Though major cities are sometimes seperate from this). Where I am in the UK you can travel as little as 30 miles and the accent is wildly different, which always amuses me when people talk about the British accent, I never know which one they mean.

Re:And yet (4, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129937)

First, the EU is bigger population-wise than the US, or even the US + Canada.

Having lived in multiple parts of both, I can say that living in New England in the US most closely resembles living in a roughly single language version of Northern Europe. Architecture and cultural changes abound in relatively short distances. Once you move west out of NE and New York, it largely and quickly becomes large homogeneous areas. Communication in some can be difficult. I recall one time in Tennessee having to order by number because the counter help (definitely all locals, and quite possibly from the same small gene pool) could not speak in anything approaching an understandable dialect (similar to Cockney vs Scots, or Dutch vs Flemish).

I can also say that many of my co-workers in 2 places in Europe had never gone more than 15 miles from their birthplace. However, in all fairness, that 15 miles covered more than 3 major cities and multiple smaller towns, sometimes with great differences between them.

In Europe, you will also get a set of primary TV channels from all the surrounding countries, a really nice feature. Why US cable/satellite providers don't supply BBC, German, Spanish, and French direct feeds I'll never really understand, other than it interferes with the MAFIAA control over what is seen in the US.

Re:And yet (1)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130499)

and even boston (pak it he == park it here).

If you think everyone in Boston, which itself is only one friggin city in all of MA, sounds like that then your own ignorance of travel is showing. Yes, there's some pretty bad accents downtown, but on the whole it's a slight affectation of speech with softer 'R's and not a friggin new dialect. Should we judge all of NY state based on the atrocious accents of a few Long Islanders?

On a lighter note however, whenever out of towners bring up the famous phrase "pahk the cah in ha-vahd yahd" I always like to point out, in my best Southie impression: "You cahn't pahk in ha-vahd yahd, they'll tow your cah!"

Re:And yet (1)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131623)

A 'true' Bostonian will have an accent, as well as a 'true' New Yorker or even a 'true' Mississippian.

If you don't, then you've obviously grown up elsewhere and/or the past couple generations of your family have not grown up there and/or you've grown up around others who have not grown up there.

The local dialect is what it is and when you're raised in area only to be exposed to that particular dialect, you too, will speak that way. If you don't, its because of exposure to other dialects that did not originate from that area.

With communication being as it is now, I think accents (or even complete dialects) are being homogenized across the U.S because of television and other 'national' media types. Fewer and fewer people will be speaking locale-specific dialect in the years to come until we all speak like they do in Nebraska.

But - for the most part - if you've been an Ohionian all your life and so has your family and closest friends, you're going to speak like you're from Ohio. That's just the way it is (for now).

Re:And yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20131461)

This is pretty much bullshit. Being european myself i can say with some degree of confidence that most europeans i've known have travelled to quite a few european countries, and i don't know anyone who has never left their own city. And as for accents, don't even get me started, here in holland there's major accent differences between amsterdam, rotterdam, utrecht, and the hague. Bigger differences than between the american east and west coasts. and these cities are less than a 100KM from each other.

Re:And yet (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131959)

I've visited Utah, New York (and some of the surrounding area), and Pennsylvania. They are certainly different, and if I were to wake up in any then I could quite quickly work out which it was without relying on maps or landmarks. The amount of cultural diversity I encountered, however, was about the same as I would get travelling across England. I realise I haven't been quite to opposite extremes. Going from central London to north Wales I find a cultural gradient at least as great as any found in the USA.

Travelling across Europe is at least an order of magnitude more varied. Even somewhere like France, which is far more anglicised than they would care to admit, is home to a very different culture with a completely different outlook on life. The north and south of France are as different as the north and south of England, but to a Brit like myself the differences to the UK that they both share are more apparent than the differences from each other. Trying to portray the EU as one homogeneous blob is so wrong it's laughable.

Re:And yet (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#20133437)

First, you obviously did not spend much time in Utah (probably just the SLC area and did not get to far removed). That is Mormon country. It is VERY conservative and they do not easily accept outsiders. Spend more than a few days there and you will see more. NYC, is an amalgamation of MANY cultures. It really does not have just one. Move around to the boroughs and you will see huge differences. The thing is that language is nowhere near the issue that I saw in Europe (Germany, France, and Italy). But then again the culture between the 2 was not that different from my POV. Why? Because you see just a little bit. It is the same issue that you had here; you see just a glimmer. To find out how different they are, you need to go and live in the area. As to different outlook on life, California is the place for laid back, and fast all at the same time. The south (outside of cities) for a VERY slow pace in life. I do not try to portray the EU as one big homogeneous blob. I am saying that the states are as different as EU is. In fact, if you want a real difference in culture, try japan vs. England; Try Russia vs. South Africa. Why? Because there was no intermingling of cultures due to geographical, as well as people, separation. That is NOT seen in EU or America. EU has just a little bit culture difference in the same fashion that America has.

Re:And yet (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20135229)

That is Mormon country. It is VERY conservative and they do not easily accept outsiders. Spend more than a few days there and you will see more.
Yes, and we have similar areas in the UK. Certain areas of Scotland and Wales are very insular. I spent 3 months in Utah, and got to know a few Mormons, and quite a few people who had moved there from out-of-state who shared their opinions on the contrasts between their own states and Utah.

NYC, is an amalgamation of MANY cultures. It really does not have just one. Move around to the boroughs and you will see huge differences.
This is equally true of London.

As to different outlook on life, California is the place for laid back, and fast all at the same time.
There is probably nowhere in the UK which has both of these extremes to such a degree.

The south (outside of cities) for a VERY slow pace in life.
The south-west of England, where I grew up, has a very similar pace of life.

I am saying that the states are as different as EU is. In fact, if you want a real difference in culture, try japan vs. England
I spent some time in Japan; some in Tokyo and some in the countryside (where I had free accommodation, since I was visiting a friend). Japan is very different, but there is also a lot of cultural overlap. The rural communities were very similar to English ones (particularly the slightly time-warped, middle-class, etiquette-dominated English ones), although in many ways I found it closer to German. Of course, there were differences, but I encountered similar differences going from the English to Spanish countryside, although in the opposite direction in terms of many attitudes.

Tokyo is just Tokyo. There's nowhere quite like it.

EU has just a little bit culture difference in the same fashion that America has.
You really need to see more of the EU if you honestly think this is the case. If you're going to stick to major cities, try heading somewhere east of Germany into the former Soviet Bloc. European communities have had well over a thousand years (a lot more in some places) to forge a unique identity. The availability of cheap travel in the last hundred years has not changed this.

eMusic (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128707)

I wonder if eMusic would be in any position to collect/distribute royalties for the non-RIAA bands, sidestepping the RIAA and making it easier to get all the indie labels on at once.

Re:eMusic (2, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128853)

I don't know if that was such a good idea. You know that this is how the RIAA started, yes? As the royalty-collector for artists.

Re:eMusic (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129797)

OTOH, collecting royalties is also the purpose of ASCAP.

Re:eMusic (1)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129803)

I think that's actually a great idea. I had previously thought of some sort of Creative Commons registry that indie artists could register with to explicitly grant permission for webcasting, but eMusic makes perfect sense. They've already got distribution agreements with their artists. They could even provide a revenue source for those artists - just set rates at half what the old SoundExchange rates were.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128723)

truthfully, we have all been waiting for the riaa to shoot themselves in the foot, and it looks like congress is going to encourage them to do so, from the summary. However, the initial costs of that are probably going to suck, with a lot of good radio sites likely going to shut down (pandora, di.fm, stuff like that)....but at least the ensuing result is certain things will hopefully change in concerns to this you can't allow people to choose what to play off your playlist [typepad.com] law. The unfortunate side is "hopefully" and also praying that we don't have some kind of RIAA sponsored payola to bring about crappy music streaming stations that they support.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (3, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128741)

"In a weird way, I hope that this fails"

That isn't weird. I want to see the RIAA and anyone who supports them boycotted out of business. As long as these groups are able to make money they will survive.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (4, Insightful)

MadJo (674225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128781)

The biggest problem is, that internet radio stations pay copyright fees to SoundExchange even if the artists have released their stuff under a creative commons licence. Or even if said artist is not associated with SoundExchange or the RIAA.
(Article [dailykos.com] on the DailyKos on this subject)

Which ever way you look at it, it's a lose-lose situation for internet radio, if the fees will go in effect.

I believe there is a way around this. (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128931)

Create a "label" company that the artists get stock in. Then have the streamcasters that are using the OSS, none RIAA stuff give up 1 share of their stock to said company. As such, the "label" company has the right to allow their music to be played since it is part of their company. I have seen several ppl here say that would not work, but I think that it will. In particular, since when do the feds require payments to self from a company that is owned by self? I believe that the only reason why money flows is for tax reasons, not copyright issues. The trick is to get the artists and streamcasters together.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (3, Interesting)

bilabrin (1127623) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129043)

Yeah, I thought I remebered reading that. Okay, so now what we need is a station like Indie Airplay (all indie music) to get hurt by this (to establish standing) or for SoundExchange to go after them so that they get it into court for a challenge. Seriously, why should RIAA make $$$ off of someone elses product? This part is absurd and should be challenged.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129859)

So... serious question here...
What would/could SoundExchange sue for? Copyright infringement?

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131211)

But who decides whether or not the case actually goes to court? What if SoundExchange, wanting to preserve their RIAA song revenues, do not accept the gambit and looks the other way, so long as the station does not move in on their RIAA property royalties collections? They may not want to risk an unfavorable judgment in court for the sake of collecting a few bit payments on indie stations playing creative commons licensed songs.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20142035)

Hmm... here's where I wish I knew more about law. Maybe Indie Airplay would send them a check, in accordance with the agreement, and then when it clears the bank, go after SoundExchange for damages claiming that the agreement 'forced' them to pay SoundExchange for product they did not own.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (2, Interesting)

Weezul (52464) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129111)

Yes and no, you'd have a very stronge case for not paying them, but you'd need good lawyers if they sued you.. maybe SoundExchange vs. Magnatune.

In fact this won't kill internet radio, just current protocols. Instead we'll see superior p2p protocols where stations broadcast only torrent files and mixing instructions.

p2p radio has many advantages :
- near zero bandwidth cost for broadcasters because listeners pay both directions
- synchronous usage keeps bandwidth prices down
- stations can learn/feed off one another more easily
- time shifting and ripping music are easier
etc.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20133751)

Instead we'll see superior p2p protocols where stations broadcast only torrent files and mixing instructions.
Not that it won't happen eventually, but this won't happen anytime soon. What makes BitTorrent so successful is that it allows for receiving whichever part of a file the other peer has and letting the client reassemble the file locally. This model is great for distributing files, but when you're dealing with time-sensitive data, it's not very effective. Internet radio is streamed, meaning that the ordering of the bits received is important as is the timeliness in receiving that information. Otherwise, you end up buffering large amounts of data to ensure that you always have data that the user can listen to.

Also, this would remove some of the immediacy that internet radio thrives on. Currently, everyone connected to a stream is listening to the same music at the same time. Some net radio stations have forums where users can post about the music they're listening to or otherwise interact with other listeners. If a p2p torrent-like protocol was used, the further the data gets from the broadcaster (i.e. each time it's sent via p2p), the receiving user's stream is delayed.

The model that currently works best (and is currently used by some ISPs) is to proxy all net radio stations so that the data is only being sent over the internet once and the distributed to all listeners using that ISP. This has one of the benefits of p2p (reduced bandwidth for net radio) but doesn't have the lack of accountability that has made BitTorrent so popular for illicit downloads.

buffering (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 6 years ago | (#20138491)

You want to buffer huge amounts of data, obviously. Users could permenently save music hours after downloading. Stations could share torrents to increase availability. etc.

It's essentially one big ever changing torrent for all currently popular music relevant to your tastes, but using auto-deletion if you don't explicity save it and it goes out of style.. plus massive numbers of DJs sending out mixes via mixing instructions.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (1)

jesboat (64736) | more than 6 years ago | (#20134487)

How exactly do you plan to use a p2p system for distributing a stream, without a ridiculously large buffer and/or timing oddities on the clients?

lol (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 6 years ago | (#20136019)

You obviously want a ridiculously large "buffer"!!! Indeed listeners should be able to permanently save music hours after listening. And other stations should be able to piggy back on your listeners. 5-10gig maybe?

You might also create a flexible format which allowed "bit skipping" for mindless bitrate degradation, i.e. you could listen to the low bit rate version of the p2p, but any songs you marked to save are bumped up to the full bitrate torrent, and the data you already have is still useful.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (3, Interesting)

wirehead_rick (308391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129643)

And this is THE HEART of the issue.

The RIAA will get paid anyways from artists who originally refuse to participate in their monopoly on entertainment. It is the only way for the RIAA to keep a stranglehold on their abusive business model. (BTW, it is the same tactic being used by the MPAA to keep regular Joes from making quality movies and independantly producing and distributing them via the Internet - HDCP technologies are not anti-pirate technologies - they are anti-competitive technologies)

Why doesn't a US internet radio station just play non-RIAA affiliated music (artist approved free airplay) and not pay a single dime for the music played? Then challenge any legal action that may be brought against them? Take it all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

It would probably be overall cheaper then the freakin' fees anyways. If this law properly challenged as being anti-competitve/monopolistic maybe the courst can wipe it off the books.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (2, Insightful)

asdfghjklqwertyuiop (649296) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130149)

I think you and the site you link to misunderstands the meaning of the term "compulsory license [wikipedia.org] ". It isn't compulsory for the radio station, it is compulsory for the artist. Meaning the artist has no choice but to grant a license through SoundExchange. However the artist can grant other licenses and the radio station is free to accept or reject any of them. The compulsory license isn't compulsory for the licensor to accept, it is compulsory for the artists to grant. If artist and licensor can agree upon some license directly with each other, soundexchange is irrelevant and gets nothing.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20132009)

While it's not covered in the linked article, I recall reading from a different article that the situation was more subtle. There are two simple situations:
  • Use the compulsory license mechanism for all the music you play, and pay the fees to SoundExchange.
  • Enter into private agreements with all of the copyright owners, and pay them all directly.
The problem comes when you want to mix and match. If you play even one song using the compulsory license, you have to pay SoundExchange for all of the music you play. They then take a fixed cut from this, even if the copyright holders have agreed to license their music to you gratis. The copyright holder then has to go through a complicated procedure to get the money back, and can then refund it to the station, if they wish, but minus the cut that SE take for providing a load of bureaucracy.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (1)

MadJo (674225) | more than 6 years ago | (#20136337)

You'd better tell that to the stations that pay that compulsory license. I'm sure they'd love to stop paying it.

See this comment [blogger.com] by SomaFM's Rusty Hodge on July 10th of this year, for more insight:

``What's the big deal? The RIAA can't tax what they don't own.``

        Yes they can. They got provisions put into the DMCA that allow them to collect (and in theory, distribute) royalties on all music played over internet radio. In theory, we can make licensing deals with every independent artist, but that's 8000 deals we'd have to make and there is no practical way we could do that. Only a handful of artists to date have granted us rights to play their music without royalties.

        Unfortnately, even the larger independent labels think they're smelling money and want to charge us lots of money to play their music. Incl

        We'd have to drop 90% of our music. Some of our channels couldn't exist any more at all.
(quoted for your convenience)

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128831)

Rather, I'd guess the mafiaa would push for legislation to force every net radio broadcaster to pay the mafiaa tax, no matter whether they play music "owned" by them or not. And afaik, that already happened.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20130281)

by forming their own set of none-riaa labels

They exist. They have been around for a while. They even treat their musicians much better than the RIAA. However, they don't have direct connections to the ClearChannel monopoly, nor the sort of market dominance that the RIAA has, so they simply can't get the same kind of exposure for their artists.

It would seem that promises like "we can get you played on radio stations across the country, during prime time" tend to hold a lot of weight to aspiring artists.

Unfortunately, you can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

This is also true of the Internet radio stations that want to play RIAA-controlled content. They already sold their soul, and the RIAA is coming to claim its due. I say, let them die, and let new stations that have a means of ensuring that RIAA content never gets played take their place. Hopefully they will also legally challenge the absurd claim by SoundExchange that they can claim royalty payments for anything that is played anywhere, regardless of their relationship to the copyright holder.

Same Issue With Microsoft (1)

EgoWumpus (638704) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130819)

A lot of people say, "Oh, if this goes through, allowing the (essential) monopoly, then people will be motivated to go for competitive alternatives - such as independent labels." The difficulty there is the exact same thing that is plaguing the operating system industry - Microsoft and the RIAA both have no incentive to change because they're currently holding (nearly) all the cards. Let me explain:

Artists with successful songs right now, or software with successful followings, are tied to the RIAA/Microsoft; they no longer get money from that legacy work if they go for greener pastures. Yes, they can do *new* work, and get credit/money for that, but they sacrifice their previous work - and the sum of all previous work is greater than all new work will be in the short to medium term; possibly even the long term.

Only in the 'explosive' phases of a new industry is it easy to be 'independent', because the threshold for adopting a new pattern is still low; a smaller percentage of the total body of work in play is affected. Right now, most artists would rather get something from the RIAA than nothing - or at least much less - from being independent. They are looking at many years of getting much less than what they'd get from the RIAA before the monopoly is broken.

And that is rather the issue; the idea of these mega-companies with near-monopolies - only not so through fine tuning of the application of the law to their particular situation. You can't claim that capitalism is going to work in the large unless there is something of a level playing field; we have in many respects institutionalized monopolies in our system of laws. Until there is a greater natural resistance built in to that sort of company, they'll continue to propagate their monopolies - and because they already control much of the industry, they will continue to fight every step of the way against this sort of thing; and largely succeed. Individuals may rebel against it, but it's hard to see how they're benefiting, personally, in the end by doing so. People call it 'selling out', but the fact is that the individual cost-benefit is heavily weighted, and it's irrational to expect individuals to act different based on hard-to-specify morality.

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20132589)

where are Bill and Ted when you need them!

Re:In a weird way, I hope that this fails (1)

halr9000 (465474) | more than 6 years ago | (#20140735)

I agree with you, but I'm a bit more cynical about it. What you are saying is that market forces will prevail. I'm about as pro-capitalist as you can get, so I support this stance for sure. But in this case we are not talking about a tangible asset with limited supply. We're talking about recorded soundwaves which are licensed like intellectual property. Toss in a huge entrenched industry with expensive lobbyists which want to pay to ensure government protects their business model and well--I trust Congress about as far as I can throw them.

Cause and Effect (3, Interesting)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128773)

FTA:

"Whether or not SoundExchange's lobbying efforts prove to be illegal, its presence as an advocate in this debate undercuts its role as neutral administrator of royalty fees set and approved by the Copyright Royalty Board."

The summary makes a *statement* that SoundExchange committed an illegal act. The article is less adamant concluding the SoundExchange should 'do the right thing'.

Huh?

Okay, this is slahsdot and summaries are not always concise about the cited article, but I would feel that given a case of braking the law, the Law, be that the US Attorneys General, a member of congress, or some other representative of the Law would take action. I personally feel that what is happening to online music is disgusting and agree that artists over time need to use the internet to get closer to their fans and potential audiences. That will not happen if bodies that control the money are not held accountable when they stray from the law.

Did they? Did they not?

It would seem, since no one is being taken to court on an illegal act, that they did not. That it were a civil issue why are music stations not suing for redress. Herer's a thought, if Wired thinks SoundExchange is breaking the law, report them to the law. Is that not what we do if we see a crime taking place? A lady is breaking into a car as I watch. I go over and ask, is this your car? "Um, I do own a car and this is a nice car" is the reply. I am suspicious so I what?

Write an article on how wrong it is to steal cars citing this lady as prime suspect...

or

report her ass to the law and let them figure it out.

For crying out loud...maybe journalism cannot file the report and instead they use the power of the pen to bring the issue to light. But if NO ONE takes action, either report on that (and ask why) or walk into a DA's office and demand that they be investigated.

(sigh)...I think I may make my sig "I hear the fiddle in the distance, and it is getting closer".
 

Re:Cause and Effect (4, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128883)

It would seem, since no one is being taken to court on an illegal act, that they did not. That it were a civil issue why are music stations not suing for redress. Herer's a thought, if Wired thinks SoundExchange is breaking the law, report them to the law. Is that not what we do if we see a crime taking place?


It's not that simple. If SoundExchange is violating the law, it is probably a civil matter and not a criminal matter. Law enforcement doesn't do anything and is not responsible for enforcing civil law, only criminal law.

If they are violating civil law, well, as for why music stations aren't suing...well, people with a legitimate legal beef don't always sue. There are plenty of reasons why they don't.

Look at this way: Microsoft violated the law with its Windows licensing scheme, right? I mean, a federal circuit court judge even said so, right? So why didn't the OEMs, who were harmed by this illegal licensing scheme, sue Microsoft? Mostly economic reasons. They didn't want to fight Microsoft's army of lawyers, sure, but they also didn't want Microsoft to cut them off from Windows and Office licenses.

I suspect there are similar reasons why music stations aren't suing SoundExchange.

Re:Cause and Effect (1)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129663)

It's called people doing music stations because they want to. They don't have the financial backing to do it. I'm sure many would love to take them on, but you have to be careful. If you lose your case, you set a precedent for anyone after you that they have to fight though before they can even get to their case.

Re:Cause and Effect (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20133965)

They don't have the financial backing to do it.


And that would be the other reason why music stations don't sue. You can't sue if you can't pay the lawyers.

Re:Cause and Effect (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 6 years ago | (#20132753)

I'm with you on the bit about civil law, but would it even be possible for sound exchange to cut off someone who sued them? Don't they make their money on compulsory licenses? IANAL, obviously, but I would think as long as you offer to pay sound exchange they have to let you play their songs.

Someone should point it out to Congress (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128791)

People listening to internet radio will not simply stop to do that and turn back to old fashion radio if internet radio is being made impossible in the US. Rather, they'll tune in to other stations abroad. With internet radio, this is hardly a problem.

The difference is that this makes it quite a bit harder for Congress (or any organisation within the US) to take influence in the broadcast and avoid or at least monitor less desired broadcasts to happen. I mean, think of the propaganda ability of a net based radio that plays what its listeners want to hear. All you have to do is call your spin news and broadcast it once an hour, and between those news, just broadcast the latest and greatest hits.

Now imagine this radio station somewhere in the middle east.

Re:Someone should point it out to Congress (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130253)

First step: destroy US-based netcasters.
Second step: once there's nobody local with a financial stake, try and ban netcasting entirely -- filter the whole Internet with some fancy new Congress-approved, poorly-functional software.
Sure, encrypted streams might work, but who is going to bother with that? This is the same general progression we watched with mp3's and sharing -- companies, that have interest in quality, provide a central service; their business is outlawed; the service moves to anonymous suppliers who don't have a compelling interest in quality and whose ranks are infiltrated by poisoners who are actively trying to corrupt the system.

Re:Someone should point it out to Congress (1)

juniorbird (74686) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131335)

You've got it exactly right -- people listening to internet radio won't just stop and go back to old-fashioned radio. So what's left now? Nothing legal, that's for sure. The music source may not be something as frightening as al Quaeda, but Shawn Fanning kept a lot of people up at night too, for a while.

Re:Someone should point it out to Congress (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131685)

Needn't be Al Quaida. There are plenty of anti-US groups around the globe, each with its own agenda. Think it would be difficult for any of them to set up a "news network"? Well, already happened, but so far I think none of them got the idea of mixing it with music to attract listeners.

What's really scary about the idea is that the good ol' saying "the prophet ain't honored in his own lands" comes to new fruits here. It reminds me of eastern Europe, where it was forbidden to listen to "west radio", and people still did. And because it was forbidden and told something else than the own networks, it was believed. Why? Because people generally tend to believe what they "should not" hear, because that becomes a more acceptable truth than what you are supposed to hear.

We could easily get a similar phenomenon this way. A news station somewhere in the middle east, claiming to have "first hand reports" - Do you think people would question it? Especially if it's the exact opposite of what you hear from Fox? I mean, we know Fox lies to us, so if someone tells us something Fox doesn't tell us, it has to be truth. Simple logic...

as if (2)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128849)

As if the U.S. Congress, arguably the most powerful legislative body in the world, didn't have enough stuff to do, now they're actually hearing the whining from the MAFIAA! Only in America my friends...

10 percent of gross revenue under $250,000 (3, Interesting)

razpones (1077227) | more than 6 years ago | (#20128985)

So if I happened to have an internet radio station that does not make any money, then 10% is 0, correct?, now, what if am an artist and I broadcast my own music on this station, do I have to pay this people to transmit my own work?, that sounds like MAFIAA tactics to me.

Re:10 percent of gross revenue under $250,000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20129675)

Gross revenue means what you take in before deducting expenses.

You could lose money and still have revenue and still owe them 10%.

Re:10 percent of gross revenue under $250,000 (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20132069)

You could probably get around this by having your radio station exist as a wholly-owned subsidiary of another company. This company receives donations, sells mechanise, and maintains the infrastructure. The net radio subsidiary makes no money (gross) and posts a loss every year.

Who Made Sound Exchange King? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20129133)

Sounds like an illegal monopoly to me. Sound exchange would make me pay royalties even if it was my own music that I streamed.....Now that's a crock of shit..... ILLEGAL BUSINESS / MONOPOLY .....

Streaming radio choices (0, Troll)

BIGmog (592353) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129145)

Streaming versions of licensed radio stations are plenty good enough for me. I doubt I'll miss the Christmas Jazz station at live365 all that much.

Why is Congress involved? (4, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129499)

This makes no sense. For this post, I won't actually fight against copyright. Let us all agree that copyright exists, and that there are current penalties for violating it.

First of all, Congress has NO power to set prices for any reason -- none. No government should ever set price caps or minimums. Doing so creates high prices and restricted inventories (or none at all). Let the market set pricing.

If the license-owners of music want to charge a given rate, let them. Those who can pay the rate will, those who can't will either move to different content, or pirate said content.

Here's where it gets exciting: piracy. With the huge number of people who want to transmit online, and the huge amount of countries and provinces to transmit from, it could be more expensive for the license-owners to go after someone streaming to 40 people than they'd get from the outcome. The amount of bandwidth on the web is virtually unlimited versus radio, and the reach is virtually unlimited. This means a virtually unlimited supply of music -- regardless of demand, the price will fall. If the license-owners think they can charge more than the market is willing to pay, they won't last long. The days of the power of copyright are quickly sliding through their fingers, into the open hands and mouths of those who want to spend their time providing a service that others want.

That service is NOT necessarily music, but a specific combination of music (and maybe commentary). It is THIS part of the service that the end users will pay for (either directly, or through advertising sponsorship). One specific song is NOT the important part, in fact it is the least important part. There are virtually unlimited songs to choose from, even in a given genre. There are NOT unlimited people who are talented in packaging these songs together into a format that someone else wants, and spend the same time marketing to the audience at large. The income is generated for the new labor created -- as the market should work. Old labor in the form of an easily copy-able song should fall to nearly zero. The bands who are played on these stations should be excited to get free marketing to promote their future concerts, personal appearances, or other live labor expenditures that they can sell in real time to their fans. Their labors, in real time, are worth way more than a pre-recorded, easily copied song worth zero or close to zero due to oversupply.

Get the tyrants in Congress out. These people have no understanding of the specific powers provided to them, by the People, through the Constitution. Congress does not have unlimited power.

Re:Why is Congress involved? (1)

Dusty00 (1106595) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129637)

Generally you're right in that there's are negative effects to setting artificial legal parameters for pricing, a free market will of course establish the optimal price. What will always derail the desired effects of a free market is a monopoly with the RIAA definitely has. The amount of royalties they are asking for isn't determined by what they feel the market values of those royalties are, they are designed to put the internet broadcaster out of business, plain and simple.

Re:Why is Congress involved? (2, Interesting)

baboo_jackal (1021741) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129945)

What will always derail the desired effects of a free market is a monopoly with the RIAA definitely has.
I don't think the answer to this is legislation. Eventually, the current business model for the music industry will have to undergo a dramatic shift, or even a catastrophic collapse.

It's obvious that those running the various media "AA's" aren't thinking more than a few moves ahead at this point - and why would they? There's too much money to be made by introducing weird, stupid royalty schemes on new technology.

Efforts to legislate them into sanity are just prolonging the inevitable collapse of their retarded house-of-cards money-grubbing.

Re:Why is Congress involved? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20129979)

Eventually, the current business model for the music industry will have to undergo a dramatic shift, or even a catastrophic collapse.
And eventually a serial killer will get old and die. Doesn't mean we shouldn't try to stop him now.

Re:Why is Congress involved? (1)

baboo_jackal (1021741) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131707)

LOL. I get your point. I guess the real question is this: What, exactly, is the "badness" we have to go through to allow the "AA's" to either die, or figure out a rational business model? I mean, it's not as dramatic as letting people be murdered by a serial killer, but you make a good point.

Assume that we don't regulate their royalty-collecting B.S.. What would happen? Let's consider the effect of the RIAA's webcasting royalty scheme:

1) Only those webcasting companies big enough to afford the royalties will survive. Marginally smaller, less-efficient competing companies will not.
2) Through free market competition, catalyzed by the RIAA's royalty fees, only a few webcasting corporations will establish a dominant market presence as their competitors go out of business.
3) Corporate multimedia giants buy those corporations and add them to their for-fee media distribution repertoire.

Crap.

OK, I love free-market capitalism. I really do. I also believe that the entertainment industry's revenue model is fucked up. But I kind of now (thanks, AC) think that this fight over webcasting, if it comes to fisticuffs, won't change anything. Yet, I abhor the idea Congress regulating them.

Crap. I gotta think about this more.

Re:Why is Congress involved? (1)

wytcld (179112) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130035)

First of all, Congress has NO power to set prices for any reason -- none. No government should ever set price caps or minimums. Doing so creates high prices and restricted inventories (or none at all). Let the market set pricing.
Congress is involved because laws passed by Congress establish (1) that Net radio can be charged these fees, and (2) that over-the-air radio cannot be charged these fees. This isn't on the level of setting pricing, but on the level of whether there's to be any price at all. This is an entirely arbitrary area, and it does not unleash "the genius of the market" to just go and legislate whole new areas, formerly free, where now someone will have government sanction to charge fees. Privatizing formerly-free public resources does not inevitably improve the quality nor quantity of those resources, nor achieve any public good at all. There are exceptions, but in general leaving what's been free free allows for more ways to capitalize those free resources - by adding value to them - than does locking them up and putting the keys in some private party's pocket.

If that market is best which is most free, then the more that's free - the larger the commons - the better the market which can be achieved in that space. Using government to enforce private seizure of public space is perverse, and usually thuggery, not the invisible hand, but the visible fist.

Because they're checking another branch of govt. (1)

Sans_A_Cause (446229) | more than 6 years ago | (#20130879)

Congress is involved now because Congress has been involved...well, practically forever. The Copyright Royalty Board, as part of the Library of Congress, and as authorized by the Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act of 2004, sets the statutory licenses and fees on copyrighted material. So, no, Congress has no power to set prices, but they do have the constitutional power to set fees and royalties. For example, "fair use" of copyrighted material is set by Congress.

Re:Why is Congress involved? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20132141)

Congress got involved at the start when they granted a government-enforced monopoly via copyright. Back when pianolas were new, they attempted to reign in the power of copyright somewhat, by creating the idea of a compulsory license. The creator of a piece of music was allowed to set any fee they wanted, but if the buyer didn't want to pay it then they also had the option of paying the compulsory license fee.

This effectively set a maximum prize. Something of this nature is needed when you are granting a monopoly, since the free market is incredibly bad at setting reasonable prices for monopoly goods (see: hydraulic despotism). The involvement of Congress at this point comes from the fact that SoundExchange is the latest incarnation of the body created to collect the compulsory licenses.

Reality of the situation (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20129519)

From the beginning a legislative solution was unlikely because the issue was under the jurisdiction of the judiciary committee in the house, and the chairman of the subcommittee it was referred to was Howard Berman. Berman is a copyright warrior, with little or no sympathy for the arguments of the internet radio broadcasters. The Inslee bill in the house(Internet Radio Equality Act) has little or no chance of going anywhere, particularly now that Congress has entered its August recess. However, there is a silver lining to all of this, even though legislation cannot come to the aid of the webcasters, many compromises have been made between soundexchange and internet radio. The webcasters only wanted to hold the threat of legislation over the heads of soundexchange in order to secure from them fair terms from their negotiations. The Inslee bill forced soundexchange to come to the table, and sit down face to face with internet radio. So even if the Inslee bill fails, there is still a good chance that a compromise can be achieved. Either way soundexchange realizes that, despite the Copyright Royalty Board decision, it cannot charge fees that would destroy the internet radio industry without destroying itself. So while webcasters may generally see an increase in the fees they pay(mind you the fees have not changed for several years, and though the CRB rates are egregiously high, an increase was over due), it should not be so significantly different as to force them out of business.

Fish? (1)

wik (10258) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129653)

What does this have to do with fish in a barrel? I just don't get it, zonk.

Fine. Pay the royalties BUT.. (2, Interesting)

DrRobert (179090) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129805)

... only play music that is more than five years old. If the music industry wants newer material... (the records they want to sell) played on the radio then charge them the standard ad rate. I have bought 50 CDs in the last two months that I would never have bought if I hadn't heard them on the radio. I don't think the mainstream commercial record industry can exist without radio play.

Which part of the Constitution authorizes this? (4, Insightful)

j1mmy (43634) | more than 6 years ago | (#20129957)

I wasn't aware that regulating media licensing fees was one of the powers enumerated in Article 1, Section 8.

Re:Which part of the Constitution authorizes this? (1)

boguslinks (1117203) | more than 6 years ago | (#20132529)

Probably no part, of course. If this question was asked all the time, very few laws would be passed.

(A few years ago some Republican congressman introduced a bill to force Congress to cite the article & section giving authorization for any law they passed. Needless to say this did not get far.)

The last refuge of legislative scoundrels is the Commerce Clause [wikipedia.org] . This clause is used and abused so often, it might be time to amend the Constitution to remove it.

Re:Which part of the Constitution authorizes this? (1)

_Ludwig (86077) | more than 6 years ago | (#20148111)

It's part and parcel of "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers," one of said Powers being "securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

"Necessary" and "proper" are of course open to debate, but you fail Civics if you think this isn't under Congress' Constitutional purview.

another nail in the coffin of commercial music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20131237)

what a shame that i will no longer be able to listen to the advert riddled crap of commercial radio.

Why? (1)

D$ntas (1139021) | more than 6 years ago | (#20131275)

What? Sorry about my english, but let me explain my ideas. I write a music, I record it, I pay MY internet connection and MY computer, using linux, everything free or made by myself, and I still have to pay SoundExchange? WHY? There is no logic, they just want to steal my money. Again, sorry about my english.

Oh well. Guess it's back to Gnutella/BitTorrent.. (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 6 years ago | (#20132121)

TOR routing, anyone?

What's needed here is a new metaphor (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 6 years ago | (#20132967)

An interesting argument here is that it's just a language problem. We have another case of clueless politicians not understanding some new technology, and trying to handle it by treating a faulty metaphor as reality.

Consider: Some months ago, a friend tipped me off to pandora.com, and I experimented with it a bit. What they do is let you generate play mixes by telling that what music tracks you like (or don't like), and they "broadcast" a semi-random program of music that matches your likes. I tweaked it a while, and now I have six such mixtures. The call each personalized mixture a "station".

The problem here is that the new internet licensing scheme would charge, what is it, $6000 per year per "station". So it would cost pandora $36,000 per year to supply my six "stations". The only way they could do this would be if I paid them $36,000 per year, and that just ain't gonna happen.

But the reason for this exorbitant charge isn't what they're doing; it's that they call each such mixture a "station" that they "broadcast" to me. The US Congress doesn't understand that this is just a weak metaphor for something that really isn't very much like a radio station. Rather than learn about what "net radio" really is, they latch onto the radio metaphor and treat each such personalized mixture as an actual, physical radio station that's really broadcasting to thousands or millions of people.

So the solution is obvious: Change the terminology. If pandora would drop all words that relate them to real radio broadcast stations, the licensing law shouldn't apply to them.

For example, they could switch to the RSS terminology, which is new technology that isn't (yet) covered by any such licensing laws. It's based on the metaphor of news distribution instead, and news "publishers" aren't required to pay a per-customer license to redistribute "news". If pandora or other "radio station" web sites were instead to deliver an RSS-like stream of files with contents tailored to my dislikes and dislikes, and I had a client that would "display" each file in the stream by showing the meta-info in a window and sending the audio portion to the sound card (like a podcast, say), they could supply the same sort of service, but the threat of an exorbitant "broadcast license" wouldn't exist. And it would obviously not be a "broadcast", because it's being sent to only one client.

What are some other metaphors that could be used to do roughly the same thing, without invoking a "broadcast radio station" metaphor?

Congress better watch out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20134497)

If terrestrial radio isn't able to play music due to SoundExchange, all the stations will have to convert to Talk Radio. And the Demoscrats have already proved they can't compete in that space, even with all the money they dumped into "Air America".

Fees WILL be imposed (1)

opieum (979858) | more than 6 years ago | (#20135495)

For one reason and one reason only. The majority of Dems are in Hollywood's pockets. The corruption in the all 3 branches of Government are unreal at this point. The next President likley to be a democrat will ALSO be in Hollywood's pocket (RIAA, MPAA, etc) Obama and Hillary are one of the likley 2 and both have gotten significant contributions from Hollywood. So expect more of this. Hollywood is getting bold because they know they have the elections bought and paid for it is fairly certain they have also contributed to the front runners of the Republican side as well to cover their bases. If you want to flame me for this go right ahead. You can waste that energy flaming or you can use it to actually find out who donated to whom. To make it easy here is a list. http://consumerist.com/consumer/worst-company-in-a merica/contact-information-for-50-politicians-who- take-campaign-money-from-the-riaa-264638.php [consumerist.com] The only real solution is to avoid ALL RIAA Artists and listen CC licensed music. The RIAA and MPAA is looking to control content to whatever end (money, populus manipulation, whatever, ect). Well they cannot control content when the artists are not under contract. This is the fundamental flaw that we need to exploit. The funny thing is we will often find more creative music out there than what is being pumped out of Holywood these days. People seem more motivated by money and far less by the actual art. There are plenty of options out there. I am looking to start a CC music only radio station in the near future after reading this.

I'm glad. (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 6 years ago | (#20135579)

There are tonnes more things to care about, like you know CONGRESS passing the new FISA bullshit.
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